Astronomy Picture of the Day

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Ageism

Ageism.

At first glance, It really is a strange looking word.
3 vowels, breaks the normal rules of pronunciation.
To say out loud, say it like 2 words: Age and ism.
What got me going again is how subtle this word's meaning can be.
Hard to explain.
The following are generalities.
I realize not everyone thinks this way and not everyone
in the US has the same feelings or attitudes or prejudices.
But the media feeds us info and we select what we read, what we pay attention to, and what we rant about.
In the US in general, we value youth to a distraction. We are raised to expect to enjoy youth, being young, doing young things. We likewise are bombarded with youthful images that the media feeds us: photos of celebrities, notables, politicians. TV, magazines, advertising, just look around.
I started looking at the recent rash of skiers going off trail.
One after another, a skier would have that fantasy run all alone ending up on the wrong side of the mountain.
Reported like this:
Lost skier found after spending cold night on the mountain in 10 degree weather. Joe Blow from [insert state they are from here-never Vermonters] skied off trail at about 3 pm yesterday. he called 911. rescuers worked to find him. blah blah. cold and tired, blah blah.
how cute.
Not one thing about how he endangered the lives of the rescue patrols, nor that he was negligent nor how he took rescue people away from Vermonters' emergencies, nor how this kid was just being plain stupid. A foolish young man, a
rapscallion, a man who should just go sit in a rocking chair.
They do not even charge these people. Freebie.
What if they had left their junk on the mountain? Does the town fine them with littering?
Now look up the press about Poppa Neutrino. The old man who sailed Lake Champlain on a homemade raft that he had checked out by the coast guard. He crashed on some rocks in a storm. And that is where the ageism began.
The press loved humiliating him, calling him everything short of foolish old man......
I can read.
Now, one skier after another, with likely very little real experience goes lost and must be rescued (unlike Poppa who was an experienced ocean sailor).
And the reporting has not changed.
This morning to WDEV's credit, they reported ski areas are beginning to think about charging for rescues.
But come on,
Poppa was accused right off as simply being too old.
So we baby boomers better get used to ageism. Before you know it, we won't be hip anymore.
As I explain options to consumers, I am reminded we still have to deal with the society we live in.
When I feel ageism is wrong and needs to change,
I also accept that I am a dreamer.
It takes more than me to change all this cultural bias against aging.
When I was younger, I might not have seen this phenomenon.
Guess I am feeling my age today.




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